Canadian Museum Goes in Search of an Ecuadorian River Monster

Forget fishing for a second. Because when it comes to bringing big fish from Ecuador to Canada’s prestigious Royal Ontario Museum, catching them is only the beginning. Much more work is needed. Plus, there’s always the risk of losing small but critical tissue samples needed to sequence the species’ DNA and understand their ecology.

All of which begs the question: Why bother? Why risk heat exhaustion, bugs, and disease to bring some fish to a museum? The answer is simple: scientific discovery and conservation.

The mystery of the Arapaima

In the struggle to conserve endangered freshwater fish, knowledge is half the battle. That means understanding the countless threats they face, from dam-driven habitat disruption to overfishing. But it’s just as important to understand the species themselves. And yet, there are many gaps in collective scientific knowledge, especially of massive fish like Arapaima.

Continue reading: In Search of the River Monster: Inside a journey through the Ecuadorian Amazon to find the largest freshwater scaled fish via Royal Ontario Museum

Photo credit: Nathan Lujan